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GSMA elects new board members, Alexander Izosimos as Chairman

The board of the GSMA, the global body for the mobile industry, has elected Alexander Izosimov, the Group Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, as its new Chairman for a two-year term. As Chairman, he will help oversee the strategic direction of the GSMA, which represents more than 750 mobile operators worldwide. Bill Hague, Executive Vice President of AT&T, was elected as Deputy Chairman.

Alexander Izosimov has served as Group CEO of Moscow-based VimpelCom since October 2003. Prior to joining VimpelCom, he held several senior positions at Mars Inc from 2001 until 2003, including holding responsibility for more than 20 markets in turn including all of Russia and the CIS. Prior to joining Mars in 1996, Mr Izosimov worked for McKinsey & Co. in Stockholm and London for five years, where he focused on sales and marketing issues as well as cost optimisation.

Speaking for the board, Rob Conway, CEO and board member, said: "With the election of Alexander Izosimov, we will continue to have the excellence in the Chairman's role that was well established by outgoing chairman Craig Ehrlich." A board member of Hutchison Mobile Communications, who served seven years distinction as GSMA Chairman, Craig Ehrlich will remain on the board.

Rob Conway added: "With his exceptional telecom experience, and understanding of leading international businesses, Mr Izosimov will enable us to build on that foundation, providing the commercial, strategic and technical insights that will prepare our industry for an era of mass-market mobile broadband services and an increasingly rich mobile lifestyle for its billions of customers."

Alexander Izosimov responded: "The GSMA board, with its wealth of expertise, intellect and business acumen, is well placed to steer the mobile community through the opportunities and challenges presented by the global economic slowdown, the rise of investment stifling regulation, the release of new spectrum and the convergence of mobile and Internet services. I am looking forward to working with the CEO and the board to ensure that the GSMA remains at the vanguard of our industry."

Jon Fredrick Baksaas, the CEO of Telenor,  Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, Managing Director, President and Group CEO of TM International, and Eduardo Barnetche Girard, Head of International Roaming & International Long Distance at America Moviles, have joined the new 26-member GSMA board, which now includes the CEOs of 14 leading mobile operator groups and represents 69% of global mobile users.

* The GSMA (The GSM Association) is the global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's initiatives as key partners. The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association's members serve more than 3.4 billion customers - 85% of the world's mobile phone users.

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